North East SMEs entitled to new digital talent acquisition support programme

SMEs across the North East LEP area can now receive up to 12 hours of fully funded talent acquisition support to help with scaling.

Delivered by Sunderland Software City and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the new business support programme is part of the Digital Innovation Partnership Project, which delivers a series of activities to drive forward the region’s digital economy.

The Sunderland Software City team will work with marketers, talent acquisition specialists and tech developers to provide tailored support to businesses, addressing the current recruitment challenges they are looking to overcome across the sector.

Solutions can include helping businesses to build their employer brand and create strong employee value propositions, upskilling HR personnel and hiring managers in the recruitment of technical roles, refining talent search, assessment and onboarding processes or conducting employer discovery research.

Alex Mouat, Business Support Manager and project lead at Sunderland Software City, said: “In the North East Digital Skills Audit 2022, we found that almost half of the organisations that we surveyed struggled to fill positions in the last year.

“That is something that we need to change, and we hope to start bridging that gap with our new support programme. The SMEs coming for support can be either within the digital sector themselves, or those outside of the sector looking to fill digital positions.”

“Each eligible business will be offered a range of consultancy-based support options to help with attracting talent into their organisation. One of our key objectives is to help businesses successfully fill up to 120 roles by Spring next year, retaining talent within the region.”

Sunderland Software City has also recently partnered with Talentheads, an SME based in Morpeth, in a bid to increase the number of regional businesses and job seekers that can be supported for the duration of the project.

Talentheads has been successfully delivering embedded talent acquisition for several years and has become a “great addition” to the Sunderland Software City team.

Sam Spoors, CEO of Talentheads, added: “As soon as I heard about this initiative, I knew we needed to get involved. Our current partnerships are centred around looking at the long-term strategic goals for businesses and how they grow through new and existing talent.”

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